After media executive accused of sexual assault wins defamation lawsuit, Russian social media users unleash mocking hashtag campaign
On May 30, Vladivostok journalist Yekaterina Fedorova and her attorneys announced that a court had found against her in a defamation lawsuit brought by Alexey Migunov, the co-founder of the PrimaMedia conglomerate. In January of 2019, Fedorova publicly accused Migunov of beating, biting, and raping her in her apartment. Following public backlash that led Migunov to take a temporary leave of absence, the media executive sued Fedorova for the “protection of [his] honor and dignity” and denied her accusations. Court documents quoted by Fedorova, her attorneys, and her supporters on Facebook indicated that a judge sided with Migunov, reasoning that “The subjective opinion of E.A. Fedorova about the alleged rape was expressed in a negative manner that went beyond the acceptable bounds of her right to express her opinions and beliefs freely.”
In response to the decision, Fedorova’s supporters initiated the hashtag #migunovunadostoinstvo, or “To Migunov for his dignity.” Social media users posted images of one-kopek coins and other small quantities of money to mock what they see as Migunov’s hypocritical commitment to send the earnings from his lawsuit to women’s nonprofits. Users of the hashtag implied that intend to make a laughingstock of Migunov’s efforts to use monetary gain to restore the “honor” they believe he has permanently lost.